Three years into my marriage and have big doubts about the future


#1

Hello all you kind and patient folks!

I have posted about this before (and may well do again) but really want to share in case anybody can give me some good advice.

If you've not read about my situation before, basically, I have two problems: my husband's sex drive and my husband's female friend.

He is the quintessential 'Mr Nice Guy'. A great dad, great bloke to everybody, wants to please everybody (perhaps neglecting his wife on the way, though). We had sex before we were married, so I knew he wasn't as bothered about sex as I was. But, it was just enough interest for me to be okay with it. After we were married, we had sex more and more infrequently. After our first child was born we didn't have sex for a year. It is still very infrequent, yet I managed to fall pregnant five months ago. I feel very blessed but look at the conception with a certain amazement - I know it only takes the one time but wow!

My husband, every now and again, have a long talk about this. He tells me I should stop asking because he feels under pressure. I do this and it gets even worse. To him, the pressure's off - hurrah! If I start crying because I am so down about the whole situation, he tells me I'm doing it on purpose to make him feel bad. He tells me he does not look at porn and does not masturbate. He has done these things in the past but I believe him if he says he doesn't now. From a day-to-day situation, I will ask for sex and he will say he's up early or too tired, or it's too late.

I want to feel as though I have some kind of control over the situation. I feel completely hopeless. I've prayed about it so often and nothing has happened. I feel like saying to God "Hey, why isn't he normal? He's a bloke! He should be pestering me for sex!" (Incidentally, his hormone levels are normal.)

I am thinking of moving into the spare room. I don't want to be next to him when I feel repelled. I am worried about our future. We've been married three years and I feel despair over this. I know worse things have happened but I think sex - or intimacy of any kind - is important.

Then there's his friend. I think she is really strange and way too involved with my husband. So far she hasn't 'got' my hints (have told her it's not right for married people to be alone with people of the opposite sex and he's not to go to her house without me) and continues to freak me out. She texts him a lot (on his week off she texted him nearly every day to ask if he wanted to meet up or if she could come round for a coffee) and calls herself 'auntie' to my child. This makes me want to scream. My husband does not want me to talk to her about how I feel. I think if she doesn't know how I must feel, then she is really stupid. So I think she's either that or doesn't care or wants my husband. Saying this though, I really don't think he is interested in her relationship-wise and don't think anything is going on. He seems very devoted to our family and often expresses how lucky he is.

Anyway, if you've read this far, I would really appreciate your advice!


#2

This sounds prickly, brumby :-/

Are you by any chance an Aussie? I always thought a brumby was a type of wild horse native to Australia :)

I would be very down if my husband did not want to have sex with me. We have never had 'performance' issues, and I imagine that must be frustrating! Especially when pregnant, pregnancy sex is the best :(

Your husband's female friend sounds like a TOAD. She and he both need to respect your boundaries, they are healthy normal boundaries and ones that most women would understand. He needs to man up in that department and make sure you feel honored and respected. All the texting would frankly make me uncomfortable. There may be nothing going on between them, but it doesn't bode well that she would insert herself into your husband's life so much. You are, after all, married. And have children together! Not cool, I wouldn't be happy about that sort of behavior.

Maybe some counseling is in order? It does not mean that you guys are in trouble or headed towards trouble, it just means that you could use a little guidance here. It sounds to me like there is a bit of a communication issue.

I hope you find some peace and that your situation improves!
Cheers, my friend down under,
Megan


#3

Check out a non-profit organization called Retrouvaille...retrouvaille.org....

from what I have heard, almost every state has this, and it is a week-end that can save your marriage.

Children are a blessing from God, but the sacrament is with your husband, and not with your children.....do something before the baby is born....more pressures may push intimacy away, even more so.

Get help right away, the situation calls for urgency, and you have every right to be concerned about the female "friend". It is indeed inappropriate! Trust your instinct, you are correct!

God Bless you, and retrouvaille is approved for Catholics, and I have seen it endorsed as well, one life saving week-end, to "learn" how to restructure your lives, because the marriage is worth saving! God Bless.


#4

I hesitate to give advise here. As I would probably LEVEL my husband for the involvement with this other woman..

Here is, however, my question to you.

Why is it this woman's obligation to get out of your marriage. Aside from common decency.

How is it, that you don't hold your husband responsible for removing this woman from your marriage. 100%

I don't mean to make you feel worse. But you're giving this woman "hints", and you say she's stupid for not figuring them out. Yet, you've TOLD your husband how you feel, and he's just doing what he wants... Seems MORE stupid if you ask me. Further, he doesn't want you to tell her how you feel.

He's PROTECTING her, and not your marriage.

Further, it seems you both (you and this woman are on the same level.) In THEORY, you should be having sex with your husband. But he doesn't want to. And supposedly he has this same sexless relationship with this other woman. WHAT IS DIFFERENT between your relationships, other than with her it's probably more fun and she doesn't ask him to do any household chores and such.

I've seen your posts before. I have a feeling it's time for YOU to seek counceling. Work this out. Invite your husband to attend if he cares about the direction of your relationship.

It's clear he needs someone else to tell him that this woman is a huge hindrence to the success of your marriage and HE'S made it that way. It's been his choice to have this woman interact the way she does. In the end, he owes her NOTHING... He doesn't even owe her so much as an explanation. He should quit contacting her, he needs to not answer the phone, no returned e-mails. HE needs to give her loud and clear "hints" that she's not a part of this marriage or family...


#5

[quote="bumby, post:1, topic:234398"]

Then there's his friend. I think she is really strange and way too involved with my husband. So far she hasn't 'got' my hints (have told her it's not right for married people to be alone with people of the opposite sex and he's not to go to her house without me) and continues to freak me out. **She texts him a lot (on his week off she texted him nearly every day to ask if he wanted to meet up or if she could come round for a coffee) and calls herself 'auntie' to my child. This makes me want to scream. My husband does not want me to talk to her about how I feel. **I think if she doesn't know how I must feel, then she is really stupid. So I think she's either that or doesn't care or wants my husband. Saying this though, I really don't think he is interested in her relationship-wise and don't think anything is going on. He seems very devoted to our family and often expresses how lucky he is.

Anyway, if you've read this far, I would really appreciate your advice!

[/quote]

:eek:

He is still allowing her texts??? He goes to her house alone?? And he doesn't want you to talk to her?? AND she has the nerve to call herself "Auntie??"

:eek:

When do you see this woman? If it were me, I'd be calling a conference TOMORROW and both of them would be in front of me. Let's get this all out on the table right now, what are you trying to do with my husband, and husband, what do you think you are playing around at???

If my husband told me not to talk to his female "friend," I'd have her on the phone in the next nano-second and invited her to the house for a cuppa and a little chat...And the next chat would be with the hubby where I laid it all out for him, either stop seeing him or move out NOW.

This is not acceptable whether or not he has a low sex drive. With this complicating the situation you can't tell what else is going on. If he has a low sex drive, he's not going to be very attractive to any woman unless he's got tons of money or something, or he looks like George Clooney used to.

Stand up for yourself bumby! This is ridiculous!


#6

Yeah there were a couple women like that in my marriage. They both had affairs with my husband while I was married to him. One has been dumped and has reconciled with her husband. One has filed for divorce and is pregnant with my husband's child. I don't mean to scare you but I just want to point out that these things happen and you need to put your foot down and be the woman of your house.


#7

Thank you for your replies so far, everybody.

Meginthemoon, I am not an Aussie unfortunately. Wish I was - the weather is much nicer than in my native country - England :-(

We had a really productive chat the other day and I am optimistic for the future of our intimate life together, shall we say. The friend thing though, continues to be a thorn in my side. I think that because he has no interest in her, he sees it as harmless. But he doesn't see how it affects me. He thinks I overreact to everything. I have tried asking whether he thinks she's a bit too involved with him, and he just tells me he think she is lonely because she doesn't have many friends (wonder why) and lives away from her place of birth, where all her family are.

I do honestly think this woman has her nice points but just can't like her, however hard I try. I find her irritating because of her involvement with my husband. I am thinking of saying something to her one day that is very polite and gentle but to the point. She is quite immature in that she thinks we (she, my husband and I are all of a similar age - less than a year between us all) are still teenagers with relationships that aren't sacred. Sad, really.

I have asked him to tell her to stop texting him, but he doesn't. He tells me all he does is reply to her text messages. And again, I am asking myself questions like 'Why does she feel the need to text him so often?' And again, he tells me she must be lonely. Drives me mad! I think essentially he doesn't tell her to back off because he thinks the friendship is harmless and that she needs his support in some way (yup - she whinges to him constantly about her health problems).

We are planning to move away in the next couple of years so I am praying it gives us the break from her that we need. And I am also going to be on the lookout for any similar friendships that start to bud so that I can intervene if I need to!

I am thinking of going to counselling myself. I looked into the Retrouvaille weekends and unfortunately there are none in my area - not even in my part of the country - and I don't drive.


#8

Praying for you. God Bless!


#9

[quote="bumby, post:7, topic:234398"]
Thank you for your replies so far, everybody.

Meginthemoon, I am not an Aussie unfortunately. Wish I was - the weather is much nicer than in my native country - England :-(

We had a really productive chat the other day and I am optimistic for the future of our intimate life together, shall we say. The friend thing though, continues to be a thorn in my side. I think that because he has no interest in her, he sees it as harmless. But he doesn't see how it affects me. He thinks I overreact to everything. I have tried asking whether he thinks she's a bit too involved with him, and he just tells me he think she is lonely because she doesn't have many friends (wonder why) and lives away from her place of birth, where all her family are.

I do honestly think this woman has her nice points but just can't like her, however hard I try. I find her irritating because of her involvement with my husband. I am thinking of saying something to her one day that is very polite and gentle but to the point. She is quite immature in that she thinks we (she, my husband and I are all of a similar age - less than a year between us all) are still teenagers with relationships that aren't sacred. Sad, really.

I have asked him to tell her to stop texting him, but he doesn't. He tells me all he does is reply to her text messages. And again, I am asking myself questions like 'Why does she feel the need to text him so often?' And again, he tells me she must be lonely. Drives me mad! I think essentially he doesn't tell her to back off because he thinks the friendship is harmless and that she needs his support in some way (yup - she whinges to him constantly about her health problems).

We are planning to move away in the next couple of years so I am praying it gives us the break from her that we need. And I am also going to be on the lookout for any similar friendships that start to bud so that I can intervene if I need to!

I am thinking of going to counselling myself. I looked into the Retrouvaille weekends and unfortunately there are none in my area - not even in my part of the country - and I don't drive.

[/quote]

Bumby, your husband is continuing to do something which troubles you, which involves a single woman who is pursuing him. If he could be honest, I think he likes the attention. Even if he's not having an affair with her, this is simply wrong. He should not be giving this woman any of his attention, he is not her boyfriend, or husband. He is your husband and it is improper for a married man to be friends with a single woman. I mean, he could talk to her at work, for example, but having a single woman send him texts which he then responds to is way out of line.

You should not have to be on your guard like this. Can you not see that it's not the wife's place to keep her husband on the straight and narrow? Your husband should not be doing this, period! If it bothers you in the least, he should tell her to stop texting him NOW. Telling you that you are overreacting is insulting to you, because this practice that he is engaging in is WRONG.

Try this: Tell him flat-out to block her number on his phone. I mean, just say, "Honey, here it is - this makes me uncomfortable - call me neurotic, whatever, but it does - please stop doing this now." And see what he says. If I did ask my husband directly for something like that, and he then refused...well, what more information would I need? I would know that he doesn't really care that much about my comfort and well-being, and takes his own needs much more seriously than mine.

It could be anything. He could be flirting with the girl in the corner shop, and you say, "Hey, I don't like it when you do that!" and if he then said, "Oh you are being ridiculous!" instead of, "Oh, dear, I am so sorry, sometimes I forget that I am married to the most wonderful woman in the world!"

Do you see the problem? It's not just this woman, it's his refusal to see that what he is doing is telling you that you are not as important as this woman.


#10

A couple of thoughts--

  1. Do you think he might be gay? It does happen even within marriages. Visit the Courage or NARTH websites for resources.

  2. As a good and decent man (as you have described him) within a marriage, it is innate to limit relationships, even friendships, with women which are exclusive. A couple of years after I was married, a female friend from high school called me to come over and help with some household task. I didn't hesitate. I told her flat out- no, it was appropriate as I was married (this was before my spiritual conversion, mind you). As an aside, I also told my wife about the call.
    Get some counseling please-- find a good, Catholic therapist.

Praying for you....


#11

[quote="TheRealJuliane, post:9, topic:234398"]
Bumby, your husband is continuing to do something which troubles you, which involves a single woman who is pursuing him. If he could be honest, I think he likes the attention. Even if he's not having an affair with her, this is simply wrong. He should not be giving this woman any of his attention, he is not her boyfriend, or husband. He is your husband and it is improper for a married man to be friends with a single woman. I mean, he could talk to her at work, for example, but having a single woman send him texts which he then responds to is way out of line.

You should not have to be on your guard like this. Can you not see that it's not the wife's place to keep her husband on the straight and narrow? Your husband should not be doing this, period! If it bothers you in the least, he should tell her to stop texting him NOW. Telling you that you are overreacting is insulting to you, because this practice that he is engaging in is WRONG.

Try this: Tell him flat-out to block her number on his phone. I mean, just say, "Honey, here it is - this makes me uncomfortable - call me neurotic, whatever, but it does - please stop doing this now." And see what he says. If I did ask my husband directly for something like that, and he then refused...well, what more information would I need? I would know that he doesn't really care that much about my comfort and well-being, and takes his own needs much more seriously than mine.

It could be anything. He could be flirting with the girl in the corner shop, and you say, "Hey, I don't like it when you do that!" and if he then said, "Oh you are being ridiculous!" instead of, "Oh, dear, I am so sorry, sometimes I forget that I am married to the most wonderful woman in the world!"

Do you see the problem? It's not just this woman, it's his refusal to see that what he is doing is telling you that you are not as important as this woman.

[/quote]

I see what you're saying, Julianne. The thing is, because she is (he says) 'not interested in me' and 'is head over heels in love with her boyfriend', she can text away to her heart's content because there's nothing 'in it'. Sorry for all the quotation marks but he just doesn't see that there's a problem because she is attached - i.e. has a live-in boyfriend. They've not been together all that long and it's pretty damn obvious she puts her boyfriend on a par with my husband. I know that if I tell him to stop texting this woman back when she texts him (and unfortunately his mobile phone doesn't have a blocking facility for SMS), he will think I'm being a control freak or that I don't trust him.

I have actually read his phone this weekend and 95% of the text messages were about work - who was working what shift, what needed to be done, etc. He's in charge of the dept and so I think that's why she was texting him that particular day. Who knows. I also know that she texts him things like 'I'm watching Anchorman - hilarious!' etc.

I am going to take a deep breath, be brave and talk to him about this. We've got on so well this weekend that I hope he responds well to it. I need to pray a lot.


#12

[quote="IMAbeliever, post:10, topic:234398"]
A couple of thoughts--

  1. Do you think he might be gay? It does happen even within marriages. Visit the Courage or NARTH websites for resources.

  2. As a good and decent man (as you have described him) within a marriage, it is innate to limit relationships, even friendships, with women which are exclusive. A couple of years after I was married, a female friend from high school called me to come over and help with some household task. I didn't hesitate. I told her flat out- no, it was appropriate as I was married (this was before my spiritual conversion, mind you). As an aside, I also told my wife about the call.
    Get some counseling please-- find a good, Catholic therapist.

Praying for you....

[/quote]

In my heart of hearts, I really do not think he is gay.

Your second point, I have told him this. I tell him too that I do not see any male friends alone because it's not appropriate and I do that for the sake of our marriage. He thinks it's silly and overcautious, or that I don't trust myself to do the right thing. It really seems to bring to light our different upbringings. Though his parents are together, neither practise (though his Dad isn't Catholic) and he wasn't taken through his sacraments aside from baptism - he did those with my encouragement when we started 'going out' together. The brilliant thing is, he seems to respond so well to God at Mass and in spiritual discussions with members of our parish but not very well when I try to catechise!


#13

[quote="bumby, post:11, topic:234398"]
I see what you're saying, Julianne. The thing is, because she is (he says) 'not interested in me' and 'is head over heels in love with her boyfriend', she can text away to her heart's content because there's nothing 'in it'. Sorry for all the quotation marks but he just doesn't see that there's a problem because she is attached - i.e. has a live-in boyfriend. They've not been together all that long and it's pretty damn obvious she puts her boyfriend on a par with my husband. I know that if I tell him to stop texting this woman back when she texts him (and unfortunately his mobile phone doesn't have a blocking facility for SMS), he will think I'm being a control freak or that I don't trust him.

I have actually read his phone this weekend and 95% of the text messages were about work - who was working what shift, what needed to be done, etc. He's in charge of the dept and so I think that's why she was texting him that particular day. Who knows. I also know that she texts him things like 'I'm watching Anchorman - hilarious!' etc.

I am going to take a deep breath, be brave and talk to him about this. We've got on so well this weekend that I hope he responds well to it. I need to pray a lot.

[/quote]

That's kind of amazing, that they are in the same exact situation - ostensibly in a committed relationship, yet still giving attention to someone on the side. I am a person who sees the surface level, what people are saying and doing, and I believe there is a reason for this behavior. Perhaps he needs the extra assurance that someone other than you is there for him, in case things fall through with you. Perhaps she is the same way. They are using one another, in one way.

I don't really care what he tells you about her. It is not appropriate if it is bothering you. He should not be minimizing it! Personally, I would be furious about that - the downplaying of my very reasonable concern.

I'm going to pray for you. I still say your husband needs to stop this completely if it is bothering you. Even if it were completely harmless. For NO other reason than that it bothers you! He is in a way, telling you the same thing this woman is clearly communicating to her boyfriend - that you and this "friend" are on the same level, and he won't give her up.


#14

"I have actually read his phone this weekend and 95% of the text messages were about work "

This is a hard way to live---checking messages, rethinking everything he says, does, wondering, wondering. No way to have to live in a marriage but this is the way it becomes whenever one thinks, feels the other is up to no good.

You can't control the situation, the marriage, him, but this is what happens and that's no way to be married. All your energy goes into checking up.


#15

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